Capturing Those Great Moments

While visiting here in California over the holidays I’ve taken note of many vignette moments. These are the occasions I’ve stumbled upon fleeting glimpses of daily life as we know it. Fodder for our life stories. Here are a few travel observations I’ve made over the past couple of weeks.

On our flight to San Jose I found the American Airlines flight attendants on board to be among the very best I’ve experienced. Just before landing, ours was working the rows thanking each of us for flying with her. You’d think she was the company owner. As Brenda joked; Air Canada would never hire her because she’s too friendly.

While in California I received the latest online alumni newsletter from my old high school. In it was an ad offering beer mugs for sale. Beer mugs? It’s a high school!

I’ve visited the local Barnes & Noble store three times to check on the lone copy of our book for sale. Using a bit of guerrilla marketing I moved it three times from its obscure spot in the reference section to a promotional table of new titles at the front of the store. Each time it’s been moved back to where it belonged. If it hasn’t sold by the time we leave for home I’m going to buy it! It looks too lonely.

Only in California? I think I saw what I saw. There’s a shop nearby that caters to pets, which is reasonable and common. But this one is a pet pharmacy. Really?

This is movie land. I’ve dreamed up an interesting movie script idea. Guy meets girl and decides that he is going to marry her. He tells a couple of people. Meanwhile the woman, after meeting him, tells her friends that she is going to marry him. The friends all decide not to spill the two secrets. Meanwhile the guy and gal start a relationship but it isn’t working out…

We witnessed something nice on Christmas Eve day as we were heading home from last minute shopping. A street guy was standing at a busy intersection looking for money. We gave him some and while awaiting a red light we saw a police car drive up and stop beside him. Instead of telling the guy to move on, the officer handed him a sandwich. We were a bit in awe of that kind gesture.

Fresh lemons on lemon trees. I see them everywhere, even right on our street. For our Christmas Eve dinner we actually had one of these – a neighbor had given it to us. It tasted so good! It reminds me that every time I walk along our streets and pass by the lemon trees I have a powerful urge just to pluck one off a branch – all for me. So far I haven’t done this. I mustn’t ever…

On Christmas Day, just as the sun was setting over San Jose, we drove past a Christmas tree which had already been tossed out on the side of the street for pick-up. Did someone not get what they wanted? Did Puff the family cat topple the tree one last time?

Just after Christmas I was sitting in our back yard when I heard the neighbors pull into their driveway. Then I heard this. Wife: I feel so embarrassed that we just gave away our Christmas gifts. That was it. I really would like to hear the rest of this exchange.

In just a few short days I observed these life moment vignettes. They will add context to the story I continue to create about my own life journey. All of us live moments just like this but we soon forget them. When you stumble into moments like this, capture them with a pen and notebook, or take a photo. Then they can become part of your own story – one shared with family and friends. It might be the perfect New Year’s resolution.

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